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Schwarzenegger Gets Buffeted - August 18, 2003

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

Conventional wisdom says that front-runners in political campaigns should play it safe, stay above the fray ­ and above all else avoid mistakes.

As far as California conservatives are concerned, Arnold Schwarzenegger has already made some missteps that are reminiscent of the kinds of blunders made by Dan Lungren and Bill Simon in their respective failed runs against Gray Davis.

Slip-up No. 1 was adding the tax-loving Warren Buffet to his campaign advisory team.

Slip-up No. 2 was not giving the investment guru the swift boot after he spouted off to the Wall Street Journal about property taxes being too low.

CNN's Aaron Brown described those who are cautious about throwing their support toward Arnold as "far right." Brown was also quick to celebrate Buffet's criticism of the Bush tax cuts. And according to Brown, Buffet "is generally thought of as an independent thinker on politics."

But this "independent thinker" gave lots of bucks to the campaigns of Hillary Clinton, Christopher Dodd, Russ Feingold and Tom Harkin.

ABC's Claire Shipman assured her liberal buddies that even if Buffet were viewed as a positive development, "Governor Gray Davis may top that. He has a former president [Bill Clinton] on his team."

If that's not enough to give conservative voters the willies, apparently Arnold's celebrity status has now somehow been classified as deficient. The campaign has just seen fit to add another actor to the Terminator team. It's none other than the Democrat with Clinton-like baggage who played a pretend deputy communications director to a fake TV prez ­ Rob Lowe.

If Arnold hopes to make a Hollywood movie-style comeback, it looks like he's going to have to move to the right side of the screen and yell "Cut."

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James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.

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